As many of you know, Murray's 5th-6th grade writing and social studies teacher, Lincoln Brown, has been suspended by CPS for allegedly using the 'N-word' inappropriately in class (see Feb 17, 2012 Chicago Sun Times article and other local and national news coverage). Out of concern that the punishment is unjust and concern for the impact this is having on our children, a group of Murray parents has composed the attached petition/editorial. We invite you to join us in signing it no later than Tuesday, February 27th.
Timing is essential in this case because, although the suspension is for five days, the days are spread out over a two month period (2 days in February, 3 in March).
It is our hope that we can get the decision reversed before Mr. Brown's next scheduled suspension days (March 15th and 16th) . This will avoid further disruption to our children's daily learning.
Our letter is purposefully general. If you would like to submit a more detailed written response in addition to signing the petition, we encourage you to do so.
- Principal, Murray Language Academy
- CEO, Chicago Public Schools
Dear Mr. Brizard and Mr. Mason,
We, a group of Murray Language Academy parents, are writing to you about your recent decision to suspend Lincoln Brown for allegedly using the “N-word” inappropriately in his 6th grade class.
We value teachers who are able to lead our children in discussions of difficult social issues. We understand and appreciate the significant difference between teaching about socially charged language and using that language to call children names. We have confidence in Lincoln Brown as a teacher and specifically, as a social studies teacher who is competent to include lessons on the subtle and sometimes destructive power that socially charged language can have in our everyday lives.
Our children need their teacher to be in the classroom, and your unjust punishment of Lincoln Brown in the form of a five-day suspension is disrupting their daily learning. We support Lincoln Brown and ask CPS to immediately reverse its decision imposing the suspension.
We hope that Lincoln Brown’s experience and the discussion it has triggered in our school community will ultimately contribute positively to similar discussions that are presently taking place in both academic and popular venues across our nation.
Parents of Children Attending Murray Language Academy
MLA Parents in Support of Mr. Brown started this petition with a single signature, and now has 138 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.